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Time change causes health and psychological problems
Twice a year, our biorhythm is mixed up unnecessarily due to the time change. For many people, this causes health problems and sleep problems. Experts explain what can be done about it.
This weekend it's time again: in the night from Saturday to Sunday, the clocks are reset from three to two o'clock. And like every six months, the time change causes health problems for many people. According to health experts, sleep problems can arise in the first days after the change. In addition, complaints such as headaches, poor concentration and tiredness can arise. The majority of Germans believe that the time change is superfluous and should be abolished.
Internal clock gets mixed up
A survey by DAK-Gesundheit shows that more and more people suffer from health or psychological problems after the time change. According to a message from the health insurance company, 29 percent of the respondents have complaints about the change to winter time, which is a peak in recent years. Over three quarters of those surveyed who have had problems with the time change feel weak and tired (77 percent). The second complaint comes with 65 percent falling asleep and sleeping problems, from which women suffer particularly often at 70 percent. 41 percent find it harder to concentrate after turning the watch and almost a third feel irritated. One in eight even suffers from depressive moods. At 14 percent, men are affected more often than women (10 percent). More than three quarters believe that the time change is superfluous and should be abolished.
“Psychological problems that occur after the time change are not uncommon. You can compare it to a little jet lag: the internal clock gets a little confused. The best medicine is the simplest: rest and a few days of patience. It often helps to avoid stressful appointments in the week after the shoot and to do everything a little more leisurely, ”says Franziska Kath, psychologist at DAK-Gesundheit.
Pay attention to a regular sleeping rhythm
The change in time on October 27 is an additional burden for the roughly 1.6 million employed people in Germany who, according to current Barmer data, suffer from sleep disorders, the health insurance company wrote in a message. Although you can theoretically sleep one hour longer by switching from summer to winter time, this can considerably disrupt the sleep rhythm of sensitive people. The Barmer therefore advises to always pay attention to a regular sleep rhythm in case of sleep problems.
“A good night's sleep means that you don't sleep too long and go to bed and get up at the same time if possible. If you have sleep disorders, you should also avoid an afternoon nap, ”explains Dr. Ursula Marschall, chief medical officer at Barmer. In addition, the bedroom should be a darkened feel-good room if possible without a television and other digital devices. If the insomnia persists for a long time, seek medical advice.
What can help those affected
In addition to a regular sleep rhythm and a calm, well-tempered environment, healthy sleep hygiene also means paying attention to daily habits. “Exercising enough during the day has a positive effect on sleep quality. Regular breaks and relaxation also reduce the level of stress, ”says Marschall. In general, sleep rituals such as an evening stroll, hot milk or tea, writing a diary or meditation could make falling asleep easier. Relaxation exercises such as autogenic training or progressive muscle relaxation could also help. (ad)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
- DAK-Gesundheit: Time change: Health problems are increasing, (accessed: October 26, 2019), DAK-Gesundheit
- Barmer: Sleep problems due to time change: BARMER gives tips for restful nights, (accessed: October 26, 2019), Barmer